Cycling has become 40 per cent safer in recent years

The risk of death for cyclists has fallen by 40 per cent in the last seven years. This was revealed by figures published on Friday during the 10th anniversary conference of Fietsberaad Vlaanderen, the knowledge centre of the Association of Flemish Cities and Municipalities and the Flemish government.

In 2015, there were 24.9 fatalities per billion kilometres cycled, which dropped to 14.9 in 2022. According to Wout Baert, programme manager of Fietsberaad Vlaanderen, the increased safety of cycling is partly due to "the numerous investments in segregated cycle paths, more 30 km/h zones, the creation of cycle lanes and zones, as well as other measures by local authorities to discourage car use".

Room for improvement

Despite this positive trend, Baert stresses that the number of cyclists killed is still too high, with 70 to 75 deaths each year. To achieve better results in the future, Fietsberaad insists on expanding its activities and calls for more attention to be paid to pedestrian policies.

"It is positive that cycling safety is improving. We must continue along this path," said Flemish Mobility minister Lydia Peeters, who considers cycling a "top priority". During this legislative period, she has earmarked 1.4 billion euros for safe and comfortable cycle paths.

According to calculations by the Modalshift health calculator, created by Vito and Healthy Living, this investment in cycling also brings significant health benefits. The calculations show a health benefit multiplied by seven. Thus, all levels of government together spent 1.041 billion euros on cycling investments in 2020-2023. These investments could yield almost 7.5 billion euros over 20 years, mainly through savings in health care costs and reduced environmental costs.


#FlandersNewsService | © BELGA PHOTO JONAS ROOSENS

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